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The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far

The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far

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As kids, we looked ahead to the imminent 21st century and thought of a big bold, sci-fi future. The robot butler and trips to the drug store in hovercars version hasn’t yet arrived, but the first 15 years of this century have been extremely fruitful for big-screen science fiction.

Sci-fi is almost as old as cinema itself —1902’s Georges Méliès’ “A Trip To The Moon” is generally seen as the first example— but it became hugely popular in late 20th century filmmaking in the aftermath of “Star Wars,” if also somewhat watered down. Many so-called sci-fi blockbusters were really action movies with some fantastical trappings, rather than thoughtful, provocative examinations of the world we live in through speculation about worlds we might live in.

That’s still true to an extent, but the last decade-and-a-half have seen a flourishing of smaller-scale, ingenious sci-fi pictures, as well as some dazzling bigger-scale examples with more ideas per se than explosions and laser fire. And with “Ex Machina” proving to be surprise hit this spring, the sci-fi idiom is the next in our Best Films Of The 21st Century So Far series (read Horror, Animated Films, and Music Documentaries).

We set a few rules —no superhero movies (which is a genre unto itself these days), no films with sci-fi segments without the whole film being in the genre (see “Cloud Atlas” and “The Fountain”) and a few films that don’t quite feel like they are true science fiction. Otherwise, anything went, and the 25 we’ve picked out makes up a hell of a list. Take a look below and let us know your favorites in the comments.


25. “Edge Of Tomorrow” (2014)
Taking “Groundhog Day” and giving it a sci-fi twist (more effectively than Duncan Jones’ “Source Code” a few years earlier), Doug Liman’s excellent blockbuster “Edge Of Tomorrow” picks up Tom Cruise’s dickish PR guy and drops him in the midst of a D-Day-style battle against an impossible alien threat, then makes him live it (and perish in it) over and over again. The film was the best use of Cruise’s star persona in aeons (serving almost as a metaphor for the redemption of his own stardom), but the secret weapon, aside from a cunning evocation of video game tropes, the best alien warfare since “Starship Troopers,” and crystal clear direction from a back-on-form Liman, was Emily Blunt as the “full metal bitch,” making a strong case that she deserves to be the biggest star in the world. The film didn’t find the theatrical audience it deserved at home, but more and more people are catching on over time.


24. “Donnie Darko” (2001)
Amazingly, it’s been nearly 15 years since Richard Kelly’s indie genre-bender arrived, and though its legacy has been tarnished by an inferior Director’s Cut and the helmer’s questionable follow-ups, the film remains as original and enjoyable a creation as ever. Melding John Hughews David Lynch, and Albert Einstein into an ’80s-set tale of a troubled teen (Jake Gyllenhaal, in a star-making role) who receives visits from a sinister rabbit who may be trying to convince him to travel through time, it’s rich, funny, swooningly romantic stuff with a very fine cast (Patrick Swayze and Katharine Ross got well-deserved comeback roles, there’s a great cameo from producer Drew Barrymore, and keep an eye out for a young Seth Rogen as a bully), and a surprisingly melancholy tone. Kelly, just 26 when the film was released, handles things with real flair (and a great ear for song selection), and while the Director’s Cut only makes the mythology more impenetrable, it’s a fascinating sci-fi puzzle-box on top of everything else.


23. “Battle Royale” (2000)
The premise of kids killing each other in a government-supported game has now been popularized to billion-dollar effect with the (very good) “Hunger Games” franchise, but if we were going to choose one film in this tiny sub-genre, it was always going to be “Battle Royale.” The final film from Kinji Fukasaku sees a class of high school students fixed with explosive collars and forced to kill each other as part of a scheme intended to curb teen disobedience. Lean, bloody, and with terrific action sequences (Quentin Tarantino called it his favorite film of the previous two decades), it’s also more than a mere genre piece: the students, and even their teacher (a smartly-cast Takeshi Kitano) are sensitively and three-dimensionally drawn, and its power as metaphor, both examining the power of violence and the demonization of youth, elevates it far above the tales of Katniss & co. Indeed, it cut a little too close to the bone for many, and landing in the aftermath of Columbine, it wasn’t released in the U.S. for eleven years, and is banned in Germany to this day.


22.Interstellar” (2013)
Perhaps one of the most hotly contested films, sci-fi or otherwise, in recent memory, Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” received a host of polarizing and emotionally hot reactions. Some claimed the picture his worst (our review wasn’t very charitable), some thought it was a vision from the heavens, and as usual, when the dust has settled, more mannered judgments have taken root (more of a consensus Playlist opinion forms here). So yes, Nolan shoots for the fences in “Interstellar” and arguably does not connect in the same home run fashion he has for so many pictures in a row now. The dialogue can be really on the nose, while the ending some see as jumping the shark. None of us will make too strong of a case against any of those points. That said, Nolan’s film is still a dazzling, ambitious vision of love, time, space, and some deeper, perhaps fuzzier elements of the universe. It’s the place where the heart and quantum physics meet. While that might admittedly be a bit of an awkward intersection, its love-letter sincerity to humanity inspired by Nolan’s own children is at least visually awe-inspiring and occasionally breathtaking. Admittedly clunky in spots, it’s a film that will very likely only grow in estimation over time.

21. “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” (2014)
After Tim Burton’s dreadful 2001 version, few had high hopes for the second reboot of the classic “Planet Of The Apes” series in a decade when Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” arrived. But the film was a quiet, unexpectedly moving triumph, and was then exceeded on every front by Matt Reeves’ follow-up, one of the few sequels that trumps the original. Picking up after the ape-pocalypse, as Caesar (Andy Serkis) is forced to confront humanity again, as well as a new threat closer to home, the movie, even more than its predecessor, takes full advantage of the stunning performance-capture technology, which reaches something of an apex here. Beyond that, it’s also simply a remarkably well-told story: a rare summer blockbuster in which you actively root against violence taking place, with a borderline Shakespearean arc for its non-human hero, and Reeves’ stylish-but-unshowy filmmaking chops steering things beautifully.

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Comments

cirkusfolk

Can’t fault your list at all. My five favorites: Edge of Tomorrow, Sunshine, Looper, Inception, and Interstellar.

    Dorsai

    Gravity should not be on that list. It is to science fiction movies what Braveheart is to history movies. Space does not work that way.

      John Johnson

      Really? So Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is fine but GRAVITY pushes your suspension of disbelief too far?

      Kingers

      Gravity is Buzz Lightyear in space and a hideous choice.

      FillsHerTease

      Gravity should not be on the list because it is NOT science fiction. That’s the big problem these days, people don’t understand what science fiction is. They think Gravity is science fiction because it takes place in space. However the movie has nothing whatsoever to do with science. Everything in the movie is technology which already exists. If Gravity is science fiction, then Cast Away – with Tom Hanks – is science fiction too…

      1. They start out on a Space Shuttle in Gravity, while Cast Away starts on an airplane. Both are existing technology which use scientific principles to fly; so there is no difference between them.
      2. There is an accident in both films, and in both cases everyone dies except a lone survivor who is now stranded.
      3. Both lone survivors then set about getting ‘home’.
      4. Both survivors use technology to get back ‘home’. A sailboat is technology which uses scientific principles to operate, just as the technology in Gravity does.
      5. Both survivors eventually get ‘home’ safely.

      Think of it this way; whether or not a movie is science fiction depends on the timeframe in which it is set. If Gravity was set before the Space Shuttle existed, then it would be science fiction. If Cast Away was made in 1880, then it would be science fiction because airplanes did not exist then. Both movies contain existing technology which operate on scientific principles. The only difference is that the technology in Gravity is much newer than the technology in Cast Away.
      Does that make sense? Thoughts?

cirkusfolk

Also, you might be getting some flac for not even including Prometheus in the honorable mentions.

Nathan Duke

Some choices I agree with, others definitely not. Glad to see Children of Men, Eternal Sunshine and Her up so high. Would put Gravity higher than Inception or Moon and Donnie Darko way higher. I’d completely remove Upstream Color, which did very little for me and move Looper back further (maybe number 25). I saw your reasoning for not including Wall-E, Under the Skin or Melancholia (had they met the criteria, I’d have ranked them all very high). Lastly, I’m not sure I’d call 2046 sci-fi, but if it is, then it should be on here over 2/3 of the other choices.

Piece Of Garbage

Olly, I missed you.

cineman

Love Children of Men at No.1 – and definitely going to check out Beyond the Black Rainbow (only movie on last haven’t seen – hell, I hadn’t even heard of it before)

Josh

No Speed Racer??? Give it up for that beautiful hallucination. No one in 25 years is going to care about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and I really liked that movie. But that’s the truth.

Lola

can’t believe there is no Blade Runner or Alien here? what?

    Milord

    Blade Runner is arguably the best SF movie and deserves a spot fairly high on the list.

      Laurence

      Wrong century!

        papa

        I think you are getting mixed up with a decade, a century is 100 years so of course great real sci fi movies have been missed

          pelle

          “The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far”
          With emphasis on “21st Century So Far”. Need I say more?

          Marco

          I seriously Lol.

          Donnie Narco

          Is there a missing link between 21st century and the last century. I honestly think people don’t understand the difference.

dtich

so agree with this list, well done. very happy to see timecrimes on there! and agree with comments re: wall-e (too much comedy?) and 2046 — both tops for me too. thanks guys.

Mark

Genuinely cannot disagree wit this list. Great choices. I’d have to put Donnie Darko towards the top of my own personal list, but that’s only because it hit me hard during my formative years.

Depressed now

I always thought of myself as a science fiction fan. After seeing you list and having watched many of them I am now wondering if I actually like this crap at all. Few movies on this list are good. Most terrible and nothing great.

JoeS

Excluding WALL-E is silly, but, then at least IRON GIANT and/or INCREDIBLES should have been included.
NEVER LET ME GO is better than most of the Top 10. STAR TREK and AVATAR should be in, even if I’m personally not the biggest fan of either.
UPSTREAM COLOR is just too muddled, and Carruth is already represented with the clearly superior PRIMER.
And, the first IRON MAN would be a good single rep out of the Superhero class.

    Peter von zur Muehlen

    Super hero movies are not science fiction. They may be closer to the category of fantasy and though the superhero genre includes elements of sci fi and fantasy it really is a category and genre unto itself.

      FillsHerTease

      You’re pretty much right, though I think you could make a case for the Batman movies being science fiction?

Greenblade

Prometheus-the most incredible story potential, amazing talent both sides of the camera, beautiful visuals–and it came out an incompetent mess. A damn shame. Can Ridley recover? We’ll see.

Failedlist

Where is Oblivion and Prometheus? *facepalm

benutty

The Playlist still trying to shove Upstream Color down our throats some more………………………..

shawn

I know we all have a big difference of opinion trying to par down a list and we can have great discussiosn all day about our favorite vs. yours but…Snowpiercer? Any blog I read that lists that piece of garage requires me to comment. Good Sci-Fi has to have a tight story if it’s based in the believable world…or it’s a world we have to suspend completely. The reasons for the train, the science of that train and the upkeep of that train make it silly. It is one of the stupidest premise ever for a story and to be honest it should have been done with aliens on another world because humans would simply not do this…nor act this way. I know my reasoning is not coming across very well as I simply don’t have the writing skills to explain well how terrible this movie is…so dear writer, you must prove to me why this show is worthy. Please write more!

Dennis Hernandez

very poor selection, no back to the future 123?, avatar? The Matrix, terminator?

    Dan

    Very poor comprehension from someone who clearly doesn’t have a clue what “the 21st Century” refers to. Pathetic.

Wes

^this guy

Wes

1. Upstream Color (Shane Carruth); 2. 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai); 3. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly); 4. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron); 5. Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron)

[big gap]

6. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry); 7. Moon (Duncan Jones); 8. Primer (Shane Carruth); 9. District 9 (Neill Blomkamp); 10. The Host (Bong Joon-Ho) DEFINITELY NOT SNOWPIERCER THOUGH!; 11. Avatar (James Cameron); 12. Looper (Rian Johnson); 13. Inception (Christopher Nolan); 14. Minority Report (Steven Spielberg); 15. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves); 16. Source Code (Duncan Jones); 17. Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman)

@ DENNIS HERNANDEZ & WES

Comprehension 101 check: do you know what THIS century means?

Ummm...

DARK CITY

    Profreshinal

    No hunger games? Otherwise good list

    Trey

    Dark City is ’99. This list is egregiously lacking in gun kata.

Grego

@Shawn…to quote Godard’s latest film, those who lack imagination take refuge in reality. That’s a good quote that applies to Snowpiercer. The whole thing is a metaphor. Generally, the people I’ve encountered who don’t like it focus on the physical aspects of the train, which, although they make sense enough for me to suspend disbelief, have nothing to do with the meat of the story. Science Fiction is supposed to be provocative and reflective of our world; Snowpiercer is that.

DG

Time Crimes is super underrated

JSintheStates

25 through 21 suck, so I’ll quit this list while I’m ahead!

Lauren

So happy to see Children of Men at the top. One of my favorites that more people need to see. Clive Owen is such a great actor as well

Grant

I know it’s something of controversial choice seeing how flawed the flick is but I have to put Southland Tales as an honorable mention

J Harris

Great, people still don’t get that the century began in 2001, not 2000.

Just a guy

No Chappie, even as honorable mention?

Tom

Great list. I’d add Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige to this list, courtesy of Tesla’s Transporting Man. IMHO still Christopher Nolan’s best film.

Ted

Sad to see that Nakajima’s “The Clone Returns Home” wasn’t even mentioned. It’s a simultaneously deeply moving and intellectual film in the tradition of Tarkovsky. I’d personally upgrade “2046” from honorable mentions, even if it is self-indulgent. But even a flawed Wong Kar-Wai film still tops most of the boring genre exercises on this list.

Nope

I dunno, The Clone Returns Home is certainly interesting and underseen, but it’s far from classic.

niñotocapelotas

let’s put a bunch of sci-fi titles in the turbo-mix, press on shuffle and… tadaa! a new Indie-wire article.

Magus Magazine

I virtually agree with Nathan Duke’s comments on the list. Great minds think alike I guess. A case could also be made for ‘Enter The Void’, and ‘Mr. Nobody.’

Jo

The absence of Under the Skin invalidates this list

Kate H

Your criteria for omitting ‘Under the Skin’ is like doing a list of great gangster films then saying "We’re leaving out The Godfather because it’s more of a wedding flick".

Also, where is Alexei German’s magisterial ‘Hard to be a God’?

Mariano

And "Predestination" from The Spierig Brothers ?

    Reece

    I know, what the hell?

mark seeley

Well, I haven’t seen every film that made the list or the honorable mentions, so I can’t say if I agree or not. But I like it.

Blind Beard the Pirate

This list was great, gave me some good ideas for movies to watch next. Except for Gravity. I couldn’t even finish that trash.

    Paul

    Try gravity again. ..
    It’s a super film. .
    Try and immerse yourself. ..
    .
    I have it a second shot and literally thought, Wow….
    .
    (Loved Mr Nobody)

      FillsHerTease

      Gravity is NOT science fiction; it just drama (well … and a thriller). Why do people think a movie which uses existing technology is science fiction? Is it because it takes place in space? The movie has nothing to do with science…

mynameisjoe

Fantastic list. Carruth and Cuaron are the kings. Now I just have to see Ex Machina…

Mike

Monsters, by Gareth Edwards. Big oversight there.

Szymon Bielsko

Guys come on! Where’s "Code 46"?!

Except...

Upstream Color, Snowpiercer, Her, Primer, Timecrimes, and Donnie Darko are terrible, terrible movies.

Stephen S.

Cool list. Don’t agree with all of them, but good anyways. Some of the honorable mentions should have made the list. And Minority Report should have been WAY higher! In fact, it should have been #1 IMO. Although Children of Men isn’t a bad choice either.

John Ranta

Given that you had Children of Men at number one, I thought i could trust this list. Alas. Upstream Color is a confused, jumbled mess. Neither a compelling story, nor a technically proficient. It doesn’t belong on this list. At least I won’t waste time watching Carruth’s other film.

Mark

5: Edge of Tomorrow, 4: Minority Report, 3: District 9, 2: Avatar, 1: A.I. Artificial Intelligence

JJ

“First good (but not the best) movie on the list is “Her”. Interesting, well done and well played. But not sure if it’s indie.
“Children of men” is simply weak. Shot in a very cliché way, suffering from something I call “child-view-reality”.
Another one on the list – “Moon” – brilliant, engaging, fantastically shot and played, with great concept behind it.
“Timecrimes” is nicely acted, well shot but as a whole weak and riddled with holes and shortcuts.
I leave “Primer” and “Upstream Colors” alone. I personally don’t like this fragmented, shaky-hand movies, but both movies definitely have something going for them.
“District 9” – good idea, terrible execution, turns out to be another boring “child-view” picture with right to the face apartheid message, wrapped in pseudo-intelectioal, pseudo-smart waste of time.
“Snowpiercer” is a joke. Movie for kids.
“Inception” is really well done and interesting. Leonardo DiCaprio is beyond believable, as usual. But ending of a movie and Nolan’s sell-out fireworks and child-view shortcuts are the reason this movie is good, but not great.
“Attack the block” is simply idiotic.
“Gravity” is a lump of pathetic pseudo-scientific pulp, that pretends to be everyting and isn’t anything. Perfect oscar candidate of course – I knew it right after watching (half of it – it’s a torture to observe Bullock and Clooney floating through the space from one station to the other in the cloud of a pathetic romance.
Both “Looper” and “Minority Report” (the former much better) were good movies, but nothing spectacular. Still enjoyable.
“Ex Machina” is ok-ish. Lead actor is bland and weak, the bad character is ok-ish, plot isn’t bad. A bit of a “child-view” here too.
“Sunshine” is fantasticallly acted and shot (Boyle is very, very good), scary and whatnot, but it has holes. I enjoyed watching it but those holes (size of the payload, oxygen issues etc) made it harder too watch and enjoy. If Boyle took some good advisors on board who’d curb those perforations, it would be a fantastic picture, ture masterpiece.
“Beyond the black rainbow” is easily the best movie out of the lot. Dark yet colorful, perfectly directed with extreme care for detail, with virtuoso perfomance of Michael Rogers and Eva Allan. I can’t say anything bad about this trippy, acidic trip that “Beyond…” is. And this music……
But most people will find this one very boring.
“Interstellar” is fantasticlally directed, well acted by Matthew (and badly by the rest), over budgeted, over intellectualized, childish lump of nothingness.
“Edge of Tomorrow” is a joke. Cruise cruising in some wobbly plastic space-helicopters. Ridiculous dialogue, bad acting, correct filming. Waste of time.
“Donnie Darko” is so so. Better then most on the list, but overall I wouldn’t watch it again. Few moments of brillaince and 90% of waste of time.

    Dan

    “Cruise cruising in some wobbly plastic space-helicopters.”

    Methinks you’ve mixed up Edge of Tomorrow with Oblivion.

    internaut

    you are a joke sir

    FillsHerTease

    Wow! There are a lot of stupendously ignorant, incredibly stupid people on the Internet, but you are truly in a league of your own. I haven’t seen such a clueless, utterly idioitc post in a long, LONG time. I mean … sometimes people will make one or two silly comments in a long post because they didn’t understand something, but you are so woefully clueless, and so ridiculously inept, that you clearly haven’t grasped ANY of the long list of movies you have commented on. It’s difficult to know where to start!

    “’Ex Machina’ is ok-ish. Lead actor is bland and weak, the bad character is ok-ish, plot isn’t bad. A bit of a ‘child-view’ here too”.

    Wow … just WOW! A bit of a “child-view”??? The movie delves deeply into questions about what it means to be human, what consciousness is, whether or not free-will exists, how we might determine if a machine is conscious or able to experience emotions, whether or not those machines will be intellectually superior to us, whether or not they might destroy us if they are (explored in a serious way, not in a Terminator or Matrix way), and what our responsibilites towards them will be.
    Just to name a few things!
    It delves into some of the deepest, most serious questions that humankind faces. Questions that philosophers have been grappling with for centuries. It’s the first movie to explore these ideas seriously since Blade Runner and 2001, and arguably goes deeper and explores the various subects even more thoroughly, but you think it’s a “child-view”.
    Wow … just WOW!
    I have a serious question for you. When you write out a long list of films like that and make comments about them all which are 180 degrees from the vast majority of people, do you think to yourself – even for a moment – that maybe it’s YOU who doesn’t know what they’re talking about? That maybe it’s YOU who is wrong? That maybe you are missing something? That maybe you’re a clueless, uneducated, ignorant, retarded imbecile? Or do you just think that everyone else has a problem and you’re the only person in the world who can see the truth? Please let me know because I genuinely want to know…

jj

Ah – and my list of few science-fiction movies worth watching:
1/ Beyond the black rainbow (on the list)
2/ Signal (with Fishbourne)
3/ Automata
4/ Love
5/ Moon (on the list)
6/ Sunshine

    chismg10

    Agree with about 70% of your comments about the list. And I’m going to watch the three in your top picks that I haven’t yet.

TINA

Glad to see CHILDREN OF MEN on the list and even better at #1. Alfonso Cuaron is a straight up genius. One of the best and underrated sci-fi movies ever made. Mine would be Children Of Men, Inception, Her, Gravity, and Edge Of Tomorrow. Though I think Inception & Gravity deserve higher positions on the list.

Maash

list appreciated, taste as well. Personally, one of the best s.f. (and movies) ever produced, "Mr. Nobody". Vanilla Sky rules and Blade Runner is a godfather.

Pavel Malkoff

Predestination (2014) is missed in this list! And Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Time Lapse and Robot & Frank could be Honorably mentioned at least. Great list anyway! Thanks.

Steve

No Blade Runner?, No Dark City? Not even in the honorable mentions?

    Dan

    In other words what you’re saying is, you have NO clue what the 21st Century means.

Remi Fortier

Please add Europa Report in this ! So underrated but so good !

Dubflakes

Came to this list hoping to find something I haven’t seen. Unfortunately, I’ve seen them all. Was surprised at this list though. Didn’t think anyone would put out a list that mirrored my sentiments. Obviously there are a few shifts in order, but the top ten is almost indentical to what I would have gone with. Would have placed Moon in the top 3. Attack the Block would have been exiled for one of the Abrahm’s Star Treks. And I would probably have to kick out Looper for Triangle.
I would say honorable mention to I Origin, Wall-E, Safety not Guaranteed and Coherence

Hector

Excellent list. It puts true science fiction over tech or space fantasy.

Kenny Ritchie

Loved Looper and Moon. Safety not Guaranteed could maybe have been on that list.

Kenny Ritchie

Loved Moon and Looper. Safety Not Guaranteed and Source Code are also list worthy.

Steven Doyle

Pretty good list. But "Battle Royale" must be disqualified: it was made in 2000. That’s the 20th century, not the 21st.

Danniel

Children of men possibly the best film of the past 15 years? Could I possibly get the number for your supplier? They’re obviously getting better stuff than mine. I found the film tired, unimaginative and highly predictable as well as anticlimactic.

kurtis

hey man, i saw some other top sci fi lists and they were on crack. from looking at the first few I knew that anything i hadnt seen on your list i needed to, so thanks a lot! I felt like i was out of sci fi movies. thanks for not extending the genre too far like the rotten tomatoes list

Kevin Mahoney

Umm, Land of the Lost. Duh.

Skilled

Number 2? Oh do come on! He must be your mate.

Kevin Mahoney

Land of the Lost. Best sci-fi movie ever.

gabriel

The list is ok, maybe 5 titles on it which I have not seen yet, -that is the reaon i read these lists – but snowpiercer is not that good, and children of men is not the best sci fi from our time. i find it simila to cloverfield in terms of imagery, motives and feeling, but i think gravity, or minority report, or edge of tomorrow, are better.

Christian Mauceri

Putting Interstellar in 22nd position ruins the credibility of this review…

Sudeep

WHERE IS MATRIX IN THE LIST?

    Dan

    In the last century, right where it belongs.

joe

Her is truly a masterpiece

Michael Baker

Gravity is not a SC-FI film! How is Inception so far down the list? Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind is so overrated as is Sunshine.

k

Children of Men, Eternal Sunshine, Edge of Tomorrow were excellent movies I can’t get enough of.

Uncle Leon

I was really hoping to see Monsters (2010) on this list, or at least getting a honourable mention. Especially that a number of indie films did make it, and this one is easily on par with them.

avenger07

Children of Men being #1 gives this list lots of credibility…..Gravity should be positioned higher tho.

omg

wow, the guy who wrote this is plain stupid. interstellar on 23 ahahahahaha, planet of the apes in the top 25? wtf? and CHILDREN OF MEN on 1 ? dude…

omg

NOT TO MENTION PROMETHEUS IS NOT EVEN IN TOP 25 , JESUS

Rosebuddy

The original "The Day the Earth Stood Still" was ahead of its time! Surprised it did not make the list.

    Dan

    You’d have been far less surprised if you had paused and wondered which century that film was made and released in.

cherockee

Prometheus, Dark City, Equilibrium, Uncanny, Push, Unbreakable, Predestination

    Dan

    Dark City was great, but unfortunately not part of this century.

Al

Seriously, is this list best sci-fi films no one ever heard of. With the exception of a few this can’t be a serious list.

JAKE THE SNAKE

Great reviews. Great list! Thank you!

MadEnglishman

Good list, personal favourites being Minority Report, Inception. Must get round to seeing Children of Men, obviously.

chris

How could they not include The World’s End?!?! It gets better after every viewing, a glaring ommission.

Ralph

My list:
1. Children of Men
2. Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind
3. Her
4. Inception
5. District 9
I agree that Gravity doesn’t belong in this category but one of my favorite film due to 3D extravaganza

mike f

no Pandorum? loooool

ElGuapo

Star Wars did beat up tech before Alien, other than that sufficiently comprehensive. = )

Kwenoir

You guys are on crack! You cannot have a list that does not mention one Star Wars movie. It is not possible as IL&M invented the technology that most of these movies used in post production. I suggest you are either too young or too stupid to really make a "lucid" list of the best. And get some help with the drugs!

    Dan

    Only a crazy person would consider Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith to be fit for inclusion in a list of best 21st Century Sci-Fi films (Force Awakens came out after this was published).

Miguel

Wow! I’ve seen all of them!

Michael T

Don’t forget the list is from films made in the 21st century (not the 20th). It’s great list but maybe I would arrange them differently.

vollsticks

Numbers 1 and 2 are two of my favourite films of all time. Infinitely better than Primer for it’s emotional heft…amazing film.
I do think Coherence deserved a place, though. It’s a puzzler on the level of "timecrimes".

wtg

Children of men as the best sci-fi i don`t really agree to that, gravity was to my opinion not as good as almost all the movies you guys listed

JonathanWalterWharmby

One film that I was disappointed to not see and I think deserves a mention was Predestination (2014). The film seems to have flown below the radar in most cases but is a refreshing take on the time travel genre. It’s a must see!

AO

I really don’t understand how Gravity is science fiction. its a suspense movie in space,but I really see no science fiction elements. there are people in space right now. Gravity could really happen. unless there was some futuristic technology that I missed when I watched it.

Ivan

Man from Earth. One of the best sci-fi movies nobody heard of.

V

I’m feeling this list although I’ve yet to watch some of these (such as Donnie Darko, Interstellar, Sunshine and others). I don’t think I would watch Edge of Tomorrow because I’m not so crazy about Tom Cruise (I only like his oldies). Anywho, I’m glad to see personal faves (such as Looper, Gravity, Moon, Her). Battle Royale is def’ a fave but I don’t think it should be categorized as Sci-Fi but more of a dystopian-themed flick.

Jimmy Tarone

"in the 21st century, we need all the hope we can get."
Right, less poverty than ever before in history. More people eating well than ever before. More education for more people than ever before. Less violence than ever before. Violent crime has been dropping for 20 years, and it was already lower than most of history. Most humans living now are living better than most humans in history, and many people live better than royalty did just 100 years ago. Disease is lower than it’s ever been, more infants and children than ever are now living to be adults and are living longer than ever before, with advantages almost no one has ever had before. Life for most just keeps getting better and better. Poverty is being pushed back in country after country.

The 21st century is all about hope. Yes, we have problems, but we will solve most of them. I feel extremely fortunate to be living now. If you don’t too, then you don’t see the many advantages you have, and that’s more about you than it is the world around you.

We face only a one major threat, and that is climate change. We can beat that, and eventually we will. Solar power is replacing fossil fuels. More solar and wind power plants are now being made than are fossil fuel plants. Solar energy prices are dropping like a stone.
There is immense reason to hope. If you don’t think so, then stop watching news, they focus on bad news. We are very fortunate. Vaccines, antibiotics, biologics, insulin (that keeps alive millions of children that otherwise would have died as teens, wasted away) and many other medical interventions. Don’t listen to the nay sayers.
The bad news is mostly fleeting. Humanity is doing very well and we are waking up to many problems.

Justin

I love how Richard Kelly has "a great ear for song selection". Isn’t Donnie Darko all Tears for Fears? Yes, there are covers, but that’s like saying Across the Universe had great song selection.

Ian S.

Based on this list, I just sat through Upstream Color with a group of friends. I can say with confidence that it’s potentially the worst movie a reader like me will ever be tricked into watching by critics who sound like they know what they’re talking about. Not only did we find it torturously boring, and its droning one-note soundtrack as pointless as it was pretentious, and an insult to engaging art-house symbolism lovers everywhere, no amount of analyzing its essentially non-existent narrative will ever salvage that evening it’ll come very close to ruining for you and your friends unless you’re sure to schedule enough time for laughing about how much everyone hated it.

Ray

How they missed "Terminator" which was a great story and fast pace (just the original, not the sequels) is beyond me. Many of the choices had silly plots or non-existent plots. The Wrath of Khan should also have placed in this group.

    Peter von zur Muehlen

    Neither of those films came out after 2001. This list is 21 century films only. Not of all time.

Public Service Announcement

Public service announcement. The 21st Century began with 2,000, thus The Terminator and films released before that are not part of this century.

Kruppe

Lovely to see the Soderbergh Solaris in the top ten. Completely agree,

Maxwell

Nothing AGAINST Children of Men, but I certainly wouldn’t have made it #1.

Gina Szanboti

How is Battle Royale science fiction? I see the fiction, but where is the science?

Michael J Oetting

I’ve seen all of these. Even the honorable mentions. I’m sad because I’ve run out od movies to watch.

Daniel

WOW, no Gattaca? Not even in the honorable mentions…

    Dan

    So 1997 (when Gattaca was released) is part of the 21st Century? WOW indeed. (And even if one wants to mention 20th Century Sci-Fi masterpieces, Gattaca is nowhere near the top.)

      FillsHerTease

      While you’re right about Gattica not being made in the 21st century, you’re wrong about where it would appear on a list of 20th century science fiction films. It is one of the very, VERY few films that is actually ‘hard’ science fiction the whole way through. Unlike pretty much every other science fiction movie in history – from both this century and the last – the entire movie is concievably possible. As if that wasn’t enough though, it takes a scientific concept – i.e. DNA – and explores the potential sociological ramifications and consequences of it. THAT is actual science fiction. THAT is what the genre was initially intended to be. There are only a tiny handful of films which fulfil both of those requirements. Ex Machina is another one. Blade Runner is one. The Island. Never Let Me Go. I’m sure there are a few more, but it’s 2am and I need to go to sleep!
      :-P
      The point is that 99% of science fiction films usually have at least one aspect which is simply impossible. Any time there are aliens, or example, the problem of interstellar travel rears it’s ugly head. Nothing with ANY mass at all can travel at the speed of light – or even very close to it for that matter – let alone something with the mass of a ‘spaceship’. Then there are wormholes, which are theoretically possible, but not the way they are portayed in films; with aliens being able to open them in two locations, of their own choice, across interstellar distances. The only story I know of which handles this in a way that’s actually possible is Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C Clarke. It’s only a book though, not a film, but I would highly receommend it…
      But I digress!
      The point is that 99% of science fiction films require some suspension of disbelief. Gattaca doesn’t though and that, coupled with the fact that it takes a piece of science which we thought would only have positive potential, and shows us that it potentially has negative potential too – if we aren’t careful – makes it a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned…

blue7

Avatar 3d was/is pretty amazing. Was it too big of hit, too entertaining, too predictable to make the list? Glad to see AI there — I would put it higher. I liked to see how the mechas are who we are pulling for, and the humans are in general the bad guys.

MyTH

This list is pretty much perfect. I was so glad to see Solaris, Primer, Upstream Color, Timecrimes, and Moon as the tops.

papa

Donnie Darko is no sci fi movie and clearly doesn’t feel like one either

Dieter

Gravity should not be in this list. While the effects were beautiful, the film was full of ‘space’-mistakes which maked it hard to watch until the end.

brian

If Carruth is acting pray tell how thats his cinematography? He must be telekinetic or is he telepathically controlling a machine. The way you describe him let alone your placement leaves one wondering if he isn’t someone’s buddy on here.

Daniel

Brian, do you know anything about Primer? Have you seen it? Carruth did do the cinematography as well as act (regardless of whether he was the camera operator on the few moving shots) and it is absolutely one of the best sci-fi movies of the 21st century, so… Maybe you should know what you’re talking about before shooting your mouth off.

yourMom

Seriously. rating Dawn of the planet of the Apes before Interstellar is a poor judgement and makes me consider this rating as bullshit. Please review your movie standard before making another rating. Your opinion influences other people and, frankly, i think you have poor taste.
Good day

yourMom

Oh yeah and some other choices you made : snowpiercer… Really? Were you high or what? Seriously, stop doing this. You are bad at it.

Kasper

what about matrix?

    Dan

    What about realizing it’s not a 21st Century flick?

Andy F

This is the WORST list I have ever seen!!! The bonehead who crafted this has NO Sci-Fi sense to him/her at all. First, to rate Children of Men as #1!!! That was the most boring, non-sci-fi, go-nowhere movie ever made in the genre. #2 To include Gravity and AI in this list is like eating dirt and calling it the finest meal you ever had. I could go on endlessly here, but its clear the bozo who put together this list knows NADA about good Sci-Fi. Leave him/her to judging the Teletubbies.

aa WWa

Under the skin is one of the most boring films ever

Lynne Lara

Science Fiction…I read my first story when I was in grade school…Martians had come to earth…earth had been destroyed…HOWEVER…there was a short piece of ‘celluloid’ that showed what earthlings looked like before they were destroyed…and at the end of the ‘movie’ it said, "Miekey Mouse…This has been a Walt Disney Production" And have never looked back…It has to be good tho…thought provoking…no ‘shoot em ups’ ah…and I love Stanley Kubrick…2001 and Eyes Wide Shut. Spiritual …

Eric

The 25 best Scifi’s in this century… an ambitious project indeed since, from my point of view, there has been so little that lives up to the standards of the last two decades of the last century. On the other hand, your writing was enjoyable.

I thought A.I, Minority Report, and Snowpiercer were particularly awful, and Gravity, District 9, and Ex Machina particularly good. I thought Europa Report and Under the Skin should have been on your list. After reading your piece, I will take another look at Moon, Sunshine, Her, and 2046. All-in-All, worth the time to read through.

Tom

Two that come to mind are Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion and Tron: Legacy. While neither did well with critics, they both are stylistic, visually stunning visions of science fiction, and I thoroughly enjoyed them again and again. Much better than Solaris and A.I., for example.

dallas

over all not too bad of a list few on here i have not seen and a few i do not think quite fit the sci-fi theme. Not sure I would call Donnie Darko sci-fi it does have some parts but if you discount Cloud atlas and The Fountain then Donnie Darko falls into the same. Battle Royal is not a sci-fi its J-horror all be it an amazing movie. Gravity also is not a sci-fi that aside it was a bad movie very boring had some good visuals but the story just was very lacking. Children of men not sure i would put it at #1 it was a good movie but the book was so much better and I think they could have done much better with the movie. Solaris was just all the way around a very bad movie i could not find anything good in it. Also just could not get into Moon ether. Ex Machina should have rated much higher amazing movie. a few i would add to the list Uncanny (2015) and Advantageous (2015)

Joseph Phillips

I found Sunshine to be a far superior movie to Interstellar in every way actually. I thought the special effects were done much better despite the difference in budget. I also thought the script for Sunshine was a lot more believable than the far fetched Interstellar, and that was a movie where people traveled to the sun!

S4PSRuben

Great list, man… A genuine breathe of fresh air.

Muhammad zain

how to download this plz help mr

your name

haha. gravity is in no way better than interstellar.

to each their own.

Conztan10n

Gravity not a sci-fi???…dude, check your facts!

Iron Horse

I would have to add "Predestination (2014)" to the list as the most original time travel story line I have seem in some time.

Sheefwa

How about JOHN CARTERS OF MARS?

    Milord

    A horrendously lazy imagining of a childish and sloppy series of novels that reflected Burroughs’ misogyny and racism.

Ping

It all fell apart when you dubbed Children of Men as #1. It wouldn’t even be on my list at all. Sad, weird, and surprising.

Joe

How about Mr. Nobody???

    JJ

    and what about it except that it’s childish crap?

Vince

Upstream Color doesn’t deserve to be on that list, or any other list. unwatchable by 90% of the public.

Rey

Hate to say it, but some of these movies are absolutely boring. Try watching more movies.

Edward

LOL , Why is Gravity on 13.. Not even 20% SCIENCE FICTION. Just a woman that scream&shout in a cell in space.. What is so SCIENCE FICTION , i don’t know. Bullshit!

David Castle

A.I? Really? What could have been a really interesting film in the hands of another director was turned to utter pants by Spielberg’s predictable mawkish sentimentality. Haley Joel Osment’s creepy turn as pinocchio, looking for his mummy, made me want to punch him, and Spielberg, in the face!

IndyPat

Children of Men is in my top five faves, period. It’ being a sci fi flick is a bit of a stretch. No love for 5 Element? Come on! Serenity as an honorable mention is criminal.

    Dan

    The Fifth Element doesn’t belong in the list, unless you’re talking about some unknown movie called “5 Element” that was released in this century.

P

Carruths work no. 1 and 2. Astonishing pieces of work.

Gattaca

How could you forget Gattaca by Andrew Niccol with Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke ?

    Dan

    Easy to blame others, especially when you lack the brains to know when Gattaca was released and whether it fits the time period for this list or not.

Trash Panda from Pluto

Could I throw in "History of Future Folk?" Silly, I know, but so very satisfying! Absolutely LOVE Children of Men, Moon, Sunshine, Donnie Darko.

Hammad Khan

Seriously?! Where the hell is The Martian and Prometheus?!?!

Deckard

Bladerunner wasn’t in the list?! or Alien or The Matrix

    Dan

    Yet another nutcase who doesn’t have a clue what the 21st Century means.

Luca Anda

you miss predestination with Ethan Hawk, it is superb!

hitori_shinbuku

what about Oblivion?? great flick, though the ending ripped off ID4 a bit. Beautifully shot, one of tom cruises best roles, plus a soundtrack from the masterminds of m83.

D_Rock

Not even an honorable mention for Oblivion or Prometheus???

David DiLillo

Seems like someone wasn’t thinking deeply enough about the ending of ‘Minority Report’!

David DiLillo

Also, there are *four directors who have two entries a piece, not three: Cuaron, Spielberg, Nolan, and Carruth.

Drag Me To Taco Bell

Great list. Props on including "Beyond the Black Rainbow"!

Robert Perry

Thank you for a thought-provoking list. Edge of Tomorrow is a personal favorite. I would have picked Blade Runner over Interstellar and added Melancholia despite your quibbles.

Carl

You actually missed GATTACA and both Mad Max movies, Road Warrior and Fury Road? And come on, the first Star reboot was Oscar worthy. You have some nice pics here, but come on?

    Dan

    What is it with all you people whining about Gattaca and The Matrix? Are you all seriously dumb enough not to know which century those films were released in?

Mark

Excellent review . I agree on Children of men being no.1

bmxer4ever

No mention of Oblivion? Proper old school sci-fi.

Avenger07

Agree 1000% Children of Men #1

Ina Gramatikova

Not even a mention of Blade Runner? Or 12 Monkeys? Or Brazil?

    Dan

    Maybe when you finally figure out what the 21st Century refers to then you’ll understand why none of those movies belong on the list.

Alex

Primer was great but Upstream Colour was an over-indulgent pretentious mess. Remove Attack the Block and push Interstellar into the top 5 and it’s a perfect list!

Bob

Edge of Tomorrow is far and away the best movie on this list, and you’ve ranked it 25th!!

Ashley

Sorry, but I would have featured Inception a lot higher on the list…Edge of Tomorrow also great.

Gurvinder Singh Padda

Not adding Avatar to the list makes this list hilariously irrelevant. Even though the ones listed here are good, Avatar set a new standard. You don’t just make a sci fi list without Avatar. Sorry.

    Steven O

    Avatar sucked. Worst plot ever.

Kenny Vermeulen

Gravity? seriously? that even counts as sci fi movie? honestly, if i want to hear a woman heavely breathing andmoaning for 1,5 hours i’ll just have sex with my GF. inception? defenatly not worth to be in the top 25, replace those 2 with atleast the new star trek movies and Avatar, and thani can agree with your list :-)

Ari Goldman

What’s a Sci-Fi without those bleedin’ Spaceships? I recon it’ll be a total waste of everything without them in it! Sniff my top 25 list here:

1. Star Wars (All of it)
2. Star Trek (All of it)
3. Alien (All of it)
4. Predator (All of it)
5. 2001 A Space Odyssey (All of it)
6. Event Horizon
7. Sphere
8. Europa Report
9. Pitch Black (All of it)
10. Interstellar
11. Solaris
12. Sunshine
13. Guardians of the Galaxy
14. Serenity
15. The Martian
16. Independence Day (All of it)
17. The Matrix (All of it)
18. Close Encounters of the third kind
19. Red Planet
20. Starship Troopers
21. Pandorum
22. Oblivion
23. Red Planet
24. Outland
25. The Black Hole

Watch everything here and tell me if Im wrong. But dont screw with the list or I’ll cut you a new black hole, get it mate?

    WhiskeyRY

    Starwars is fantasy wearing a SciFi jacket

    Arnvald

    You’d better call that list “some recent good scifi movies” because there is a quite huge amount of awesome movies missing. Nice movies anyway, except dawn of … apes which is a huge shit.

    JKS1

    the fact that you place the abortion that is Event Horizon so highly means everything that you say is invalid, only a knuckle dragging imbecile would even think vaguely for a nanosecond about Event Horizon when it comes to such a list

    Dan

    Screw you, mate. Most of these suck just like your taste in movies.

    wade

    Not a bad list. Glad you did not include District 9 on your list, which as to be one of the more disappointing movies that turned out to be total hype.

not sure

I’d say the list is mostly solid. I wouldn’t have put Upstream Color so high on it, but I get the appeal of the film… I’m really wondering where’s Twelve Monkeys?! Not even in the honorable mentions…

    Dan

    12 Monkeys is from 1995, so souldn’t have been hard for you to figure out why it was not included.

      Dan

      *shouldn’t

Carter

Surprisingly choice!

B-REX

As someone who has watched over 2000 movies and is an ENTP (ie intellectually owns all), I gotta say, this is a refreshing list of best sci fi (actually my fav gen).
However the early choices, I disagree with as they made zero impact, enough or lack there of for me to remember any part of them.

Anyway.

Keep up the good work.

God (or as close as humans in this era will ever see)

Caio

Great job with the list, I can’t imagine any better… I hope you keep filling this list…

LongDick69

Why the f*ck is Upstream Color even on this list? And at number two? Stylised directing and a good score does not make up for a weak plot that drags after the first 25 minutes.

Admiral Ackbar

seriously? What the hell were you on when you made this list? I mean.. seriously? talk about making a list of personal favorites that has no merit in actual generic usefulness to the rest of the world.
reading this was a waste of time.. and your existence is a waste of o2

shridhar pandey

Add your voice to the conversation…i like the movi children of men ,gravity,moon I liked all film list

Alex

Prometheus was unoriginal garbage based on internet conspiracies and bad science.

bowrilla

Ehm … seriously? The awful Solaris remake and not Tarkowskij’s masterpiece?

    Dan

    Yeah, seriously, or do you not know which century the first Solaris adaptation was released in?

ELOQUENT MOM

Gravity.isn’t sci-fi. The director himself has said it, as well as tons of other people. It’s a dram set in space which depicts a particular type of present-day science. THAT’S NOT SCIENCE-FICTION. If Gravity is sci-fi, then also Bones and House M.D. are.

Muhammad Ibn-Raqib

Nooo! Unless I’m blind and missed it! Why wasn’t Serenity on this list! That just broke my heart! :'( but swing moon as number 5 really made my day though!!! Great list!

Leo

Is it just me or am I a bit off to think the Matrix trilogy deserved some mention?

    Dan

    The original one doesn’t belong due to the years being considered, and the two sequels simply don’t belong in a “best of” list, period.

Rick Pan

what happen to independence day?

    Dan

    Besides being an utter POS, that movie wasn’t even released in this century.

Jeremy

Nice list, you’ll never please everyone. Gattaca and Pandorum (criminally underrated) would’ve been on my list also.

    Dan

    Yet another Gattacatard who doesn’t know what century it was released in.

Gary D Williams

Vendetta deserved better,

Gary D Williams

"Vendetta" deserves better

sahil sharma

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Jonny blaze

I think you nailed it, with the exception of not mentioning Prometheus.

Martin

Thank you a lot! :)

ctuna

You missed Enders Game. Prometheus and Ovlivion

Jonty

All those who keep saying Blade Runner etc – look at the title of the list “21st Century” Half the films you lot are spewing about are in the 20th Century.

simran

Put edge of tomorrow in top 5 and remove dawn of planet of apes

simran

Gravity isn’t science fiction at all

    Nate

    You have a point

simran

Mark edge of tomorrow in top 5
Remove gravity

GM

The Martian should be on here 1000%. Very well crafted and detailistic thrilling film… If you haven’t watched it you’re missing out. Much more engaging than many of the other films on this list.
And hey if you’re going to put Endless sunshine of the spotless mind on here, can we put Shutter Island on here too… Both out of SciFi genre however Shutter island much more compelling than ESOTSM.

    Eldar

    One valid comment for once! Presumably didn’t make the list because too funny.

kagbalete

No Starwars????? Bummer!!!!

    Dan

    As I mentioned above as well, only a crazy person would consider Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith to be fit for inclusion in a list of best 21st Century Sci-Fi films (Force Awakens came out after this was published).

Rick

Have to make room for Ari Folman’s THE CONGRESS staring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel and Jon Hamm.

TimNovi

Amazing list of undderated sci-fi movies

Curtis Franks

This list is invalid without Blade Runner… right? Come on!

    Jim

    As said before, wrong century.

    Peter von zur Muehlen

    Blade Runner does not fall into the specified timeframe.

Pat

Great List, many thanks!

Ben

Was this list created before Don Hertzfeldt’s “World of Tomorrow” was released? Because of it wasn’t, you guy completely missed a film that more than deserves a high spot on the list.

Bobby

Interesting list. There are so many brilliant sic fi films that you don’t mention. And some of the picks wouldn’t be on my list. I agree with many however. As a lifelong sci fi fan I’ll just pipe in.
Alien and Aliens
Can’t even begin to list the best films of the previous century but there were absolute beauties.

Christien

I am glad Prometheus is not on the list.That movie was a great disappointment. I don’t understand the appeal of The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; that movie was terrible from the mailed in performance by Franco to the absurd high speed tree traveling. Why is Avatar not on this list?????? I thought Clooney was great in Gravity. The first half of A.I. (the Kubrick half) was great but the second half (the you know who half) was a great letdown. Edge of Tomorrow is a very underrated movie, I think because many people can no longer suspend their disbelief when it comes to Cruise. As a huge fan of the novel, Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly was like a made for TV production which skipped all the most resonant scenesin the novel. Also, I thought Keanu was miscast.

Kathy

I love all of those sci fi films!! however, I heard that there is going to be a NEW “Plan 9 From Outer Space” that is in the making now!! it looks really cool they even have an FB page for it ,it looks old school too ,my hands off to these guys !!

VASTIK MISHRA

THE MARTIAN???????????

    Dan

    What about The Martian? Did you expect the list’s writers to go into the future and watch it?

sarah

this article was top notch but the comments section is even better

SPACEMAN FROM ABOVE

I love how 80% of people are totally ripping the apart, while 20% generally are cool with the list, but most with reservations. It just shows how people have different tastes and points of view.

    Troyard

    “80% of people” are ripping the list apart because apparently some SF fans are illiterate; they completely skipped over the requisite for this list… 21st century.

Peter von zur Muehlen

Well, this is an interesting list. Some of these I have seen. and most of them I will not see any time soon because they are not available on hulu, netflix or prime without paying additional money and that is a non starter for me right now. Though, as much as I appreciate science fiction with thoughtful and reflective aspects that relfect the human condition etc, when I really think about sci fi I want laser guns, space ships, aliens and epic mythologies. I want alien worlds and mad space monsters. But I also want it to be done with finesse and style of Pan’s Labyrinth and tightly executed special effects and choreography of action that the MCU has been giving us. Most of these films sound rather dreary. I see that force awakens is not on this list and rightly so. That movie sucked ten ways to sunday. Which is really a shame, because essentially the star wars mythos has all the right elements for a great story, but they watered it down so terribly with a very flawed execution, bad casting, and the general impulse to make a movie for children. I wonder if there is a list like this for fantasy movies.

    Dan

    A lot of the MCU is predictable crap. Some entries are lots of fun for sure but certainly none are exemplars of Sci-Fi. As for why The Force Awakens wasn’t included, quite likely the simple reason is that it was released after this list was published, otherwise going by how almost all the critics were drooling over it I’m sure it would have found a place.

Lex

Technically, the year 2000 isn’t in the 21st century. That’s why the name of the movie/book is ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. It was the first year of this terrible century. Thank you.

john

Upstream color number 2?! that pretentious shitpile, and children of men number 1?

Kenny

“In these days when the phrase “based on a comic book” has more or less become a guarantee of a plasticky, soulless “product” rather than a film,”

Seriously? Who writes drivel like this. Plasticky? What are you 6 years old for crying out loud? Why do film writers try to invent terms when they can barely understand the terms they have at hand? It also begs the question as to why film reviewers find it necessary to borrow French terms to insert in their reviews when such terminology does not make for clearer thinking or reporting.

This list is meh and the writer(s) blow wad which is typical of lame film reviews anyway.

Nothing of Star Trek? No Blade Runner? No Alien? I mean there are some truly GREAT science fiction films that deserve to be in the Top 25 and you just opt for the indie films “Because gee we’re nerds who listen to crap like Radiohead so that makes us cool”. Yeah that and fifty cents chum.

    Vesper

    Because ‘plasticky’ truly is a made up word…not. Why even argue over terms that you’re not 100% sure if they exist or not.

    Kason H

    Half the people on this thread can’t even be bothered to read the title of the article. Blade Runner and Alien DID NOT COME OUT IN THE 21st CENTURY.

dxbinc

You should have include CONTACT in the top 5 – its an intelligent and thought provoking masterpiece.

    Dan

    If you had the brains, the title of the article would have helped you figure out why Contact was excluded.

asra

I’m disgusted. This list is crap. Edge of tomorrow? are you kidding this movie is shit. Children of men 1st?? Wtf, anticipation is not science-fiction and this movie is an unpalatable stew, same for black rainbow.

My list:

1. Interstellar
2. Her
3. Inception

The others are waste of time

    Billy

    Edge of Tomorrow is a 91% at RottenTomatoes.

    So you have bad taste. We live in a country with Trump as president so you’re clearly not alone.

Dean

Heloooo!! Mr. Nobody is a masterpiece!

FRONTMEISTER

THIS LIST IS SO WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS….MADE BY WHORELENNIALS OF COURSE…..IDIOTS ONE AND ALL…….

Leo

WTF?!! Are you insane?! Blade Runner is not in the list?!!! Oouuu boy…

    Pragmat

    Blade runner is not from the 21st century…

Pedro

LEO, did you read the other comments?? I have lost track of all the times previous readers have had to point out that this list is meant to cover films made in the 21st century – meaning from 2001 onwards.
Put brain into gear before mouth (or fingers on keyboard)!!

My festering sausage collection.

Under the skin for me is the absolute winner and the fact it fails to make the list is a total disgrace.

Irena

How about ‘Hard to be a God’?

Dead

Children of Men is hardly the best sci-fi film of the century. But it is certainly the most overrated.

Ian

Upstream Color? F**k off.

putlocker

thank you for the article

2isme

I will say this list is stupid because noone of superhero movies weren’t there

    Dan

    None of the superhero movies weren’t there? Actually all of the superhero movies weren’t there (and rightfully so).

    Next time know what a double negative is before employing it.

JKS1

Sunshine and the massively over-rated Inception both ranked above (thealmost masterpiece) that is Interstellar ????
You must be high on crack

    Dan

    Interstellar was mawkish, predictable, boring and quite silly at times. I would have left it off the list completely.

      Billy

      Predicatable??? HHAHAHA

      This is one of the dumbest troll jobs yet. That movie was brilliant and clearly over your Trump voting head.

Cody Smith

Interstellar is the best movie I’ve ever seen! Recently I read, that NASA officials were involved in making the film, so the film Interstellar can be considered not only sci-fi film, but also a scientific movie, as it has a lot of the true facts.

Tilley

Interstellar is the best Sci-Fi Movie ever…

fibd

Thanks for this article

Eldar

Upstream Color is a muddled pretentious boring mess. I can see how some knucklehead movie critics can like it for some stuff only they can understand but put it on this list when it’s not even a proper sci-fi movie to start with? Wrong!

kouli

My list:

1. Avatar
2. Aliens
3. Predators

Eda

Without Blade Runner and Gattaca, I can’t take this list seriously.

    Kason H

    Dude, this list is in regards to movies from the 21st century only.

steve d

er Children of Men is a really really terrible film. Wooden acting. Facile story line. Totally unconvincing. It’s is simply not good enough to bang on about the story line – one can read a book to get that. As thought-provoking entertainment goes it was really poor. One of the most over-rated films ever and one which will be completely forgotten about very soon

Kason H

This is a good list, many of these films are among my favorites in the genres. Especially glad Moon and TimeCrimes were so high.

CKDexterHaven

Surprised THE ISLAND (2005) wasn’t more highly-regarded here. Maybe my crush on Scarlett prejudices me, but either way, it’s a better film than many on this list.

    FillsHerTease

    If you enjoyed The Island, then I highly recommend you see Never Let Me Go. It’s based on the same idea – i.e. people whose purpose is to be an organ donor – but it’s a British film, so it’s fascinating to see the way they handle it. Both are great movies; one being very American and one being very British.

JAZ

Solid list. I like that Reign of Fire got honorable mention. And Super 8 definitely would have been one of my picks. Also, there’s a crazy one called Dante ’01, by one of the guys behind City of Lost Children, that’s totally worth viewing, sort of 2001 meets Passion of the Christ.

    JAZ

    And…tbh, I really enjoyed Battle Los Angeles, Splice, Surrogates, Book of Eli, & Elysium too. Does post-apocalyptic stuff not apply, ’cause Mad Max: Fury Road was the bomb? And the third episode of Season 1 of Black Mirror, and the final episode of Season 3, were also great sci-fi (but TV a whole diff thing too I guess). And I would have included Promethius.

JZ

This is more of a list of the absolute worst movies made in recent years. Solaris was so mind bogglingly boring that I would have to have been dropping acid to find anything remotely interesting about it. Eternal Sunshine was ridiculous with terrible casting, and even worse writing. And ex machina was simply a reboot of the same concepts poured into a too long movie consisting of a drunken idiot, a porn addict, and an AI that wants to get out instead of being raped. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

Mikw Romana

Absolute biased rubbish based on personal opinion.
Where is Alien or Aliens?
Blade Runner? – I’m sorry Primer??? That was the worst movie based on psychobabble bs netween 2 uncharismatic dorks that could have been written by Woody Allen trying to make a serious Sci-Fi based movie. Failed attempt. Proceed to airlock.

    Dan

    Dude, every “best of” list ever made is obviously biased. Do you think you can produce some 100% unbiased list containing movies that others won’t immediately term as crap (and you too)?

    What’s even more rubbish is how you lack the brains to understand why Alien(s), Blade Runner etc. do not belong in this list.

    Billy

    It’s a list from the 21st Century. Your reading comprehension skills are worse than my 5 year old.

Dean

21st Century so far!…another 83 yrs before this list can be taken seriously and compete withe best of the 20th century!

Paul

Jeezuz Dan …
.
You need to take a futuristic chill out pill. …
Lot of nasty ass comments man, from Sci Fi lovers just trying to put there little input in. .
.
I want to include WATCHMEN. ..
.
Because of the main man, Dr, Manhattan….
(Hey he built a house on Mars)..
.
Interstellar is the only film in “This Century” ( Dan) that I have watched, 3 times. ..
.
Mr. Nobody was beatiful…
.
And edge of tomorrow AND Oblivion were wicked. ..
.
Enjoyed reading anyways. ..

Billy

Horrible list.

Inception clearly should be either 1 or 2. Avatar is better than half the movies in this list.

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